In addition to teaching for HPU’s College
of Communication, Chang teaches ethnic studies part time for
the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and is a practicing
attorney and labor negotiator during the day. He is an arbitrator
for labor grievances between unions and employers, and he counsels
private companies about labor and employment issues. Chang
is also the managing director at Pacific Edge and a partner
at Pacific Resources. He is a member of the Hawai‘i Government
Employee Association (HGEA) and the president of the Chinatown
Historical Society of Honolulu.
Chang’s interest in labor unions came early. “I was
raised in public housing in a working-class family,” Chang
Chang’s mother was a clerk-typist, and his father was a
pipe fitter. While getting a B.A. in Accounting at UH-Manoa,
he realized that, “The United States is the most capitalistic
and legalistic country in the world.”
In order to survive in this society, you have to understand it,” Chang
added. And that is one of the reasons he went to law school.
Chang sees himself as a bridge between the system and working-class
people: “I am not a union activist,” Chang said.
But he believes that “Unions are useful because they are
organized, and they have many resources.”
Chang’s Labor Relation class has 12 students, who, according
to his syllabus, will “explore the history, culture, and
future of labor relations in the United States and Hawai‘i.” Chang
wants his students to “understand how the labor relations
message is shaped, organized, and delivered in the community.”
After law school, Chang taught Problems in Hawaiian Politics
at Honolulu Community College, worked as a guidance counselor,
a legislative aide at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, a program
planner in Governor Ariyoshi’s office, a Hawai‘i
state senator, a hearings officer at the State Department of
Social Services, a deputy corporation counsel officer for the
City and County of Honolulu, and a director of Contract Implementation
for the United Public Workers, to name only a few of his many
positions and accomplishments.
Chang lives in Nu‘uanu with his wife, Lisa Konove, and
three daughters—Ahnya 25, Cymri 21, and Morgen 16.